“Devastating floods wreak havoc in Somalia, leaving 200,000 people displaced, according to officials”

On May 14, 2023, the town of Beledweyne in Somalia was faced with a catastrophic situation. The Shabelle River burst its banks, displacing approximately 200,000 residents and flooding the streets with rising waters.

The situation was described as a flash flooding emergency. Inhabitants of the Hiran region had to vacate their homes, carrying their belongings on their heads as they navigated the submerged roads.

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Deputy governor Ali Osman Hussein stated that the number of people displaced is expected to increase, with the official figure of 200,000 being preliminary.

The deputy governor of the Hiran region warned that three people lost their lives as a result of the floods. This coincides with record droughts in the area that have left millions on the brink of famine.

Survivors told reporters that they had to flee their homes in the middle of the night as the floodwaters rose rapidly. One resident, Fartun Ali, revealed that this was the fifth time she has had to escape the floodwaters in Beledweyne.

The situation in East and Central Africa is concerning due to seasonal extreme weather. Just earlier this month, Rwanda experienced a tragedy that claimed 135 lives when flash floods swept the area.

The general opinion among experts is that these extreme weather events are becoming increasingly frequent and intense due to climate change, a phenomenon most observed in Africa. Past flood incidents have affected the East African region heavily, destroying homes and livestock, displacing thousands of people, and causing an immense loss of life.

The flood situation in Somalia remains one of the biggest threats to the residents of the town of Beledweyne. However, authorities have promised to continue providing aid to those affected by this catastrophe.

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